21 August 2017

Bi-Weekly Notes — #3

Do you ever get that feeling of wanting to just book a small trip somewhere far away pronto? I am currently feeling that at the moment ⎯ having a few thoughts on doing a little getaway soon. I've spent a lot of my days off exploring and doing different things. A few things I use to do years ago that I had forgotten I found so much pleasure in doing, things such as visiting the markets on a Sunday morning has been on the occasion every so months and flower picking. I would love to do a little road trip down to beautiful Albany again ⎯ it's been years. I love the country side and miss the horses, paddocks and beautiful hills. I'm at that point of needing a good digital/city life detox.

I've been really into watercolour painting and have bought quite a few sets to do a little bit of work on ⎯ my favourite is painting anything nature themed. Visiting art supply stores has been on the regular these last few weeks, goodbye money, hello colour palettes. The only thing I need to do now is find a good storage system for it all.

I also added a new sidebar header to my blog called "Categories" (thanks to the original designer herself Alexis for creating another sub-header for my blog). This is a way for you to be able to navigate around my posts with ease. I've categorise each of my posts with certain labels so you can find what type of post you're looking for. ie. Bi-Weekly Notes and previous Let's Catch Up has its own label so if you would like to catch up on any past posts you can simply click on the label.


 NEW IN ⎯  

Inspiration  –  Jordan Clark is such a wonderful creator. Her content is by far one of my favourites and I find her YouTube videos so therapeutic and aesthetically pleasing. Her art and journalling videos are so creative and I gain a lot of inspiration to do more with my art and stationery supplies. 
Updates  –
  • On Thursday the 10/8, we attended our final pre-start meeting with our home builder to get all our submissions of each colour selection for our home interior and exterior finalised. FINITO! 
  • My Dylan Kain tote bag was recently damaged, the seams of the handles were coming apart and I had only own it since March this year (it was a birthday gift from my beautiful sister). Thankfully, they have a good warranty replacement system and I sent it off to get it replaced. It arrived a few weeks ago and I am so happy to be reunited with it again. It is my day/work bag and fits my MacBook and journals perfectly.
  • I made a custom order of my Amour JNFR logo in the form of a miniature stamp and it arrived just this last week. It is so cute and the perfect size for my pencil case. I am planning to use this for quite a few projects I'm working on. It makes for the perfect signature stamp. See it in action here.  
  • On Saturday the 19/8, the Mr and I dropped by our block of land to take some photographs on the tripod together to document each stage of our home building journey. It was such a lovely moment and with plenty of hilarious and failed moments. 
  • The Mr and I spent our Saturday night at my sister's place with our niece for dinner (a marvellous Italian feast we had). My sister and I did some flower/leaf pressing/drying and she gave me this beautiful Polka dot plant ⎯ how stunning are the pink and green leaves? Her house/garden is filled with so many beautiful plants, she also gave me a bouquet of Lavender which I am planning on drying out as well. I love pressing flowers and leaves in old books ⎯ the results are always so beautiful. I am creating a collage to frame as art work within our new home.   

PR mail  –  
  • MiGoals Get Shit Done Notebook Launch (Mid August) 
  • Lady Burgundy Matte Lip Creams (Mid August)


 CURRENTLY ⎯  

Doing  –  furniture and appliance window shopping for our home. Scrapbooking every cut-out I find in magazines for ideas.
Reading  –  back issues of Fete Magazine. It's so lovely to be able to borrow these back issues from the library and gain more inspiration for our home.
Working  –  on putting together letters to pen pals. I love writing letters and putting together snail mail packages. 
Wanting  –  to catch up on my never ending to-do list. I have so much to do, but I am so happy to be organising my time efficiently. I'm determined to get the important things done and leave some leisure time for myself too.


 TOP PICKS ⎯  

Instagram / Blogger  –  Tina Sosna has this magical touch when it comes to everything she creates. I adore her style and how peaceful she comes across as. She makes YouTube videos, blogs, has an Instagram as well as a beautiful little handmade shop which I've been buying a few of her handmade goods from. I highly recommend her work. 
Music  –  Bon Iver is a major throw back for me, I've always loved his music. If I was to choose a favourite singer it would most definitely be Bon Iver. I can listen to his tunes forever.
Beauty product  –  Go-To Pinky-Nudey Lips is divine, it is perfect for those winter chapped lips and gives an overall sheer tint of pink to your lips and smells delicious. I always have it in the pocket of my coat.


The other week I did some bookbinding and handmade my very first notebook with card stock paper (and a pencil case/pouch, not pictured). I hand sewed each signature and covered it with this floral fabric. It's a little on the rough side, of course being my first time actually making a book ⎯ but I'm loving how it turned out.

17 August 2017

Care Package Swap With @chyism

Earlier this year my blogger friend Cindy and I did a care package swap with one another. I must admit, this is by far the BEST mail swap I have ever done, I would say the best in history too. We definitely went all out and it felt so lovely to be able to pick up so many goodies we both had on our wish lists for each other. It's taken both of us so long to get posting on our platforms about our swap, mainly because we've been bombarded with life itself and let's face it, this swap is absolutely epic therefore it needs that extra bit of time to properly put together ⎯ and I am so thrilled to be uploading it now as I have been working on it for so long. We also decided to use this time to properly test out most of the products we sent to each other so we could get a proper in take of it all. If you would like to see what I sent to Cindy, check out the beautiful post she put together about it here.

We decided to form a wish list consisting of 7 brands we really wanted to either try or explore more of that are quite difficult to get a hold of where we are from (Cindy is from California, USA and I am of course from Perth, Australia). This worked so well for the both of us, we emailed each other our top 7 brands and away we went gathering together items from each brand. We also decided there wasn't any limit, either one product from each brand or a few from each. Knowing both Cindy and I, we of course got more items from a few particular brands that we knew the other would like more of. 
I had so much fun putting together all the goodies for Cindy! My package arrived to her a lot earlier and I received hers shortly after. It took us about a month to get together all the items we had for each other, including extra snacks and gifts we picked up that was native to our countries (aka, I got her Tim Tams and she got me 3 Musketeers Bar, etc). I remember when her packaged arrived I was literally squealing at how beautiful everything was. I sat on my bed slowly unravelling each product from the giant box and was so over the moon with everything she sent me.
It's always such a great feeling when you meet someone that you get along with so well and have a lot in common with. That's the best part of this whole social media/blogging community ⎯ you meet so many amazing people. I adore everything about Cindy, she is such a beautiful gal, inside and out and hopefully one day if we ever travel to either end of the universe we can meet up for a nice coffee date. We chat almost daily on Instagram DM's, which is so lovely. If you haven't checked out Cindy's platforms and handles, you're definitely missing out ⎯ the gal's got talent y'all! 

This is going to be a LONG post, so grab yourself a cuppa! 

WHAT'S IN THE CARE PACKAGE

GLOSSIER  ⎯ 
There was no doubt that Glossier had to be one of my first brand picks. In fact, Cindy asked me about it way before I even started my list as she knew that was a brand that would definitely be on my wish list. Cindy is also a Glossier Rep, so do shop through her link if you would like extra discounts and her recommendations.

Milky Jelly Cleanser –  I have been wanting to try this cleanser for so long. When it first launched I wasn't too phased by it and kind of brushed it off but because Cindy and many others had raved and talked about this cleanser so much I was curious to try it. Plus I really liked the concept of it, I love any simple/gentle cleanser that can be used daily. 
I've been using this non-stop since I've received it (it's actually almost reaching the half way mark) and it is perfect for an all round type of cleanser, whether morning or night. I use it as a first step cleanse followed by my other cleanser to double cleanse. It works so well at removing excess build up of dirt and makeup. I don't wear as much makeup as I use to, therefore it takes off every bit of makeup even my mascara (which isn't waterproof). 

Priming Moisturiser Rich –  A lot of people have been using this as their night cream, however I like to switch in between depending how dry my skin is. As it is winter here in Australia, my skin has been a lot drier so I've been using this day and night within my skincare regime. I love the consistency of this moisturiser, it feels really thick and luxurious on the skin and smells of subtle lavender which works perfectly before bed time. If I were to choose, I would definitely keep this as a night cream as opposed to a day cream, but for those drier skin days this works like a charm either way. 

Super Pure Serum –  Although, I thankfully have never suffered from severe acne occasionally I do of course get pimples (especially during that time of the month). Therefore having a good selection of pimple treatments has always been a must within my skincare. I love Niacinamide with its anti-inflammatory properties, it works deep within the skin to remove any barriers that may be clogging your pores which can lead to build up of pimples forming. This formula just melts into my skin so quickly which I really enjoy, as I can't stand products that sit on top of the skin feeling sticky or tacky. 
The only down side to the Glossier Super Serums is the small size. I own their Hyaluronic serum (Super Bounce) and it was the quickest product I've ever gone through. I hope Glossier brings out a larger size option to choose from. I've since been using The Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid instead which is a lot more forgiving, though the formula isn't as top notch as Glossier, but is still very good. The Super Pure Serum is actually lasting me a lot longer as I only need to use it occasionally. I noticed instant results after apply this to any pimples or redness. It reduces any noticeable areas instantly.

Balm Dot Com Coconut   I wasn't too crazy about the original Balm Dot Com, it smelt horrid and I found it wasn't a good product. Though, I admit the packaging won me over and I was quite in love with just the packaging alone (looks amazing in photos, that's for sure). For some reason, since using this Coconut flavoured Balm Dot Com, I've sort of converted and find in some ways it works a lot better than the original and smells so good as well as feeling more hydrating on the lips. 
It has a subtle coconut smell, nothing artificial smelling which is perfect (I love coconut). It's a shame all the Balm Dot Com's contain Petrolatum which is frustrating (why do brands feel they need to add this in?) however, the other ingredients listed makes up for it and therefore I don't mind it so much. I carry this balm everywhere with me and because it isn't tinted I use it where I have dry skin, but mainly for my lips. Again, the packaging of all Glossier products is just too aesthetically pleasing, it's just a crime not to fall in love with it a little extra.

Generation G Lipstick in Jam   My most favourite and almost used daily lipstick these last few months has been my Gen G Lipstick in Leo that I purchased a while back. I love the consistency of their lipsticks and it makes the perfect terracotta brown on my lips. I had three other shades I was eyeing for the longest time and Jam was definitely one of the three (cake and like were the another shades). Jam is literally the shade of jam, right? It sheers out so nicely on the lips and I like to apply it on my cheeks and blend it out to give that subtle flush. Jam can be built up from a sheer to a semi-bold lip, it makes the perfect berry shade.


MILK MAKEUP  ⎯ 
Milk Makeup is another brand that is almost impossible to get a hold of here in Australia, unless you're doing an order through forward mailing services which can be such a pain. I've been so curious about their products and just love the simplicity of their brand and overall outlook to their aesthetics.

Sunshine Skin Tint in Light –  This is considered a skin tint however if you were to compare it to the actual Skin Tint from Glossier it provides a lot more coverage and if anything, I would consider this more of a tinted moisturiser with light to medium coverage than a skin tint. I love the packaging, there has been a mixed review on the packaging of this skin tint, but for me, I love how travel friendly and convenient it is. 
It is a very smart way of applying your base with the glass ball applicator and click style pen. The shade 'light' is most definitely my winter shade, I would probably go for a more medium shade next time as they come off a lot lighter than I thought (I'm usually a light-medium in most bases) but I can make it work as it blends out so seamlessly.


SATURDAY SKIN  ⎯ 
Saturday Skin has only recently launched here in Australia, from what I've seen it's stocked in Myer. The pink packaging is just calling out to all those folks who are loving the Millennial Pink phase (I, included) and the Korean's just know their shit when it comes to skincare, let's face it. I only had my eyes on one products and that is of course... (the facial mist)

Daily Dew Hydrating Essence Mist –  I have been dying to try this mist since seeing Tamira Jarrel feature it countlessly on her feed. The bottle and packaging is just too perfect and everything I would want packaging wise. The mist is so fine and beautiful, I almost feel guilty using it as I don't want it to end. I've been using this to prep or perk up my skin when needed and using this sparingly. I need this in my life forever.
Quench Face Masks –  Cindy added in two of their face masks for me to try, and I was so thrilled but I am still yet to try them as I am reluctant to even open one. They're just to lovely to destroy. I will hopefully find the courage to pamper myself with one of these bad boys soon, I'm thinking on my first pamper session I have in my new home and brand new large bath. Yay!

PIXI  ⎯ 
Pixi is another brand that has just recently launched in Australia (within this month, actually) and from what I've seen it is within David Jones. Before this I hadn't tried much Pixi products before Cindy sent me these items. Shortly after the PR of Pixi have been sending me a few of their products to try and combined with the products Cindy sent me I have been so in love with their brand. The only product I have tried and have been using for a few years is of course their cult, Glow Tonic which is by far one of the best! 

Hydrating Milky Mist –  I've been using this mist religiously since I received it it is almost empty, thankfully I have a back up! The mist doesn't spray out as fine as most mist do. Pixi's misting spray nozzles aren't very good, they tend to spray very sparsely other than that this is packed full of goodness and is the perfect pick-me-up when your face is feeling dehydrated. 
Multibalm in Baby Petal –  The shade Petal is the perfect soft rose shade, I have swatched this on my hand, but am yet to fully test this multibalm out. 
Lower Lash Mascara –  I have a few mascaras I am currently going through before I can crack open this mascara, but I am looking forward to using it on my lower lashes as the wand is very thin and petite. 


FRESH  ⎯ 
Fresh is a brand I've heard of for so many years, yet have never ventured out to trying. Their Sugar Lip Balm is probably their most cult product within their range and I am so glad I have the chance to try it out for myself. 

Sugar Lip Balm in Honey –  The packaging to the Sugar Lip Balms are housed within this almost heavy duty matte metal-like material. It feels really hefty and twist open to reveal a beautiful balm. I chose the shade Honey, well, because it just sings out to me in terms of the type of shade I always go for (I think you know by now). 
The consistency of these balms are very buttery and smoothing on the lips, it gives an overall tint adding that subtle colour that can be slightly built up. My lips feel instantly hydrated and without any stickiness. I do find the packaging of the twist up balm can make it scratch onto the balm itself and because it is such an emollient balm it is prone to melting easily especially during a sunny day. 


TATCHA  ⎯ 
If a could use one word for Tatcha, it would be "masterpiece". I can't quite get over how luxurious and beautiful their products are. It is literally gold in a bottle. Their paper packaging is almost too stunning to throw away. The packaging hoarder within me is dying to hold onto it, but that is the old me and I must refrain from keeping the paper packaging and move on. Thankfully, their actual product packaging is even more breath taking so I'm doing ok.

Luminous Dewy Face Mist –  Believe it or not, I am actually still yet to try this beauty! Mainly because I am going through several other facial mist at the moment, I am saving this for a special occasion. It is so luxurious, which isn't any surprise when it comes to Tatcha and how stunning their products are. I am so grateful to be collaborating with them at the moment and have several more of their products I am currently testing. More to come with this stunning brand soon!

Polished Rice Enzyme Powder –  I like to use this powder either on its own with a few drops of water or mixed with a cleanser (preferably Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser) it feels so gentle on the skin and really buffs away dead skin leaving your skin feeling smooth and soft. Luckily, I have a backup of their full size! I am so grateful that Cindy introduced me to the world of Tatcha and I was able to try a few of their products for the first time through her.


HERBIVORE  ⎯ 
The one thing that catches my eyes with Herbivore is how minimalistic everything they have within their range is. I love that their range broadens from each end of the skincare scale and how ethically sourced their ingredients are. 

Blue Tansy Face Mask – Wow, I was definitely not expecting this within my package! Cindy surprised me with a random pick from Herbivore, it was a brand on my list, but for a few of the brands we both told each other to choose which ever product we thought the other may like from a few brands (For me it was mainly Herbivore, Tatcha, Milk Makeup and Fresh which makes it more fun and spontaneous). 
I wasn't sure what to try from Herbivore, I had seen their range floating around the net quite a few times and have always wanted to try their products out and I am so thrilled Cindy had chosen this face mask for me. I had actually never seen or heard of it, but oh my it is sublime! The dark teal shade of this mask is so mesmerising and I just love the cooling affect it has on my skin when I use it. It's like magic in a little jar and a definite treat for my skin, I love a good AHA/BHA treatment. 


Have you ever done a mail swap with anyone before?

07 August 2017

Bi-Weekly Notes — #2

It has been yet another busy few weeks and I am powering through. I only just started this Bi-Weekly Notes series and had almost forgotten that the next one was coming up. Luckily I added a reminder in my iCal to always alert me a few days prior to it being due. I really enjoy putting together these types of lifestyle posts and I hope it is something that you enjoy reading too.

This week is going to be another week full of to-do's, but having coffee dates planned these next few days with some friends is definitely a great way to have a little bit of a breather and something I am much looking forward to. I love a good coffee date ⎯ they're always my favourite.

We also assembled together our sofa that my sister had gifted to us as well as the table lamp that *Brosa Design had gifted to me for our new home. As if I couldn't be even more excited about our home, this is the icing on the cake for sure. Now I'm just anxiously awaiting the moment we can actually decorate our new home with these beautiful pieces ⎯ more updates to come!


 NEW IN ⎯  

Inspiration  –  I've been obsessed with @designstuff_group's instagram page, a lot of our home inspirations and ideas have been coming from this beauty. My instagram collections tab is all bookmarked with many of their photos.
Updates  –
  • I was invited by the beautiful Imogen of Faux Silk to do a feature interview on The Glow Club. It is a new series she has introduced to her page and is such an amazing way to connect and discover many of her favourite people from the blogging/social media community. It was such a privilege to work on this article with her and am so grateful she asked me to be part of this. 
  • I've been writing in my gratitude journal every night (I did miss two days, but that's about it) since I've bought it at the thrift store for $0.79c (brand new too  ⎯ the beautiful pattern on the cover and overall quality of the whole book really caught my eyes). 
  • Attended a meeting on Saturday to finalise our tile selections at the tile company was such a fun and exciting experience. I loved every bit of it and really appreciated that the tea that was made for me was served in this oh so beautiful Pantone mug (here)  ⎯ I've included a sneak peek photo of the final tiles we have selected for our wet area (below). Matt white subway tiles with black grout for our walls and a natural stone style rectified tiles for our flooring.
PR mail  –  
  • Memobottle A6 Water Bottle (End of July) 
  • Shhhsilk Pink Eye Mask (August)
  • Tatcha Skincare (August)

 CURRENTLY ⎯  

Doing  –  a massive clear out and organising all things for our home at my parents house at the moment. Donating things to charity and putting things into boxes that can be used later on when we move into our home. 
Reading  –  half way through Moshi Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto, I'm really enjoying it still and excited to see how the ending pans out. I was also inspired by my friends Anna and Carina to check out another Japanese author, so I picked up these two books called The Nakano Thrift Shop and Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami. I borrowed both from my local library and can't wait to get started as soon as I finish my current book.
Working  –  on our home portfolio, we have our final pre-start meeting this Thursday to lock in every feature selection for our home to send through to the builder.
Wanting  –  to practice living a more spiritual and mindful lifestyle.

 TOP PICKS ⎯  

Instagram / Blogger  –  One of my oldest blogger favourite has created a brand spanking new blog and I couldn't be happier when she announced the news of coming back to the blogosphere. I've always adored Victoria's style and I can't wait to see more of her work. Give her some love and follow @vkhoupra / www.vkhoupra.com 
Movie  –  Last weekend the Mr and I watched "When Marnie Was There" by Studio Ghibli and it has topped the list of one of my favourite anime, such a stunning film. 
Beauty product  –  Riddle Oil perfume in North Wind has been my go-to choice of fragrance daily and wearing my RMS Lip2Cheek in Spell everyday since it arrived ⎯ the perfect nude shade.


01 August 2017

Haircare Discoveries


I don't usually talk a lot about haircare, mainly because I always find it difficult to find cult products for my fine straight hair. Not many products work well for my hair type and I always steer away from anything that is going to weigh down my hair, make my scalp dry or leaves a tacky residue. These last few months I have been testing and trialling out a few products I have been sent and have only been able to sift through a small selection that I have now grown to love, some more than others but these are the top 3 that I want to talk briefly about in todays post.


*Hello Hair Botanic Edition Hair Mask  

The first time I tried out this hair mask I wasn't sure about it, mainly because I had used it all throughout my hair and scalp massaging it in as the packaging instructions states to do. However it made my hair really clumpy and weighed down after I rinsed it out. I then decided to give it another go, only this time focusing it strictly on the ends of my hair, and voila, it worked like a charm. Of course, I knew I had very fine and thin hair that lacks volume so I usually don't put hair masks within my scalp, but because the packaging said to do that I thought perhaps it was clarifying. That's how all beauty products work, you need to figure out how it can work well for your own benefits as everyone's hair situations are all different. Now that I've mastered this process I have been putting a small handful at the ends of my hair to nourish it from any dryness and I really enjoy using this as a treatment when my hair is in need of a pamper.  
 DO'S  Apply on hair that is dehydrated and is in need of nourishing treatment!
 DONT'S  Apply to your scalp if you have very thin hair and lack volume, it will not do you any favours!

*Natura Siberica Hair Repair Oil  

Hair oils are another item that I tend to hesitate using unless it will absorb instantly into my hair. I can't stand any hair oil that just sits on top of your hair and doesn't absorb into the follicles, you just know it isn't doing anything but weighing your hair down. When I first applied this hair oil to the ends of my hair, I was instantly sold. My hair soaked up every bit of the oil and felt so soft and smooth. It created a beautiful shine and texture to each strand and felt it was more of a dry type of oil that doesn't leave any oily residue. It smells tropical and feels super luxe each time I use this! I highly recommend it. 
 POSITIVES  Packaging is just as beautiful as the product itself, comes with a glass dropper pipette.
 NEGATIVES  None, I love everything about this!


*Hairstory New Wash  ⎯

This is by far my most favourite of the lot and the stand out of almost any haircare I have ever tried. I am so shocked at how amazing this makes my hair feel after each use, I've been using this as my second wash every few days. This is a one of kind product and I am sure there isn't anythings else quite like it out there. It is an all in one, shampoo and conditioner. A new way of washing your hair, no seriously! At first when you apply it, it feels more like a conditioner texture and as you massage it into your scalp and hair you start thinking "is this even working?!". But be patient my friend, it clarifies and cleanses your hair all while nourishing it and leaving it feeling so clean and hydrated. You can see the results instantly once you have dried your hair after the wash. I can't figure out how they do it, because yes, I have tried those two in one shampoo and conditioners back in the day, and all I can remember is that it was the biggest faff. Not this baby, my hair is absolutely loving the formula to this hair wash and I know it will be a permanent product in my haircare regime. Time to stock up!
 PROS  Love, love love, the formula to this! It gives my hair so much volume and clarity as well as feeling so nourished and healthy. I've seen a difference in the texture of my hair as well as thickness to each strand.
 CONS  The packaging, it leaks a lot and the pump doesn't work at all. It gets stuck and seeps through the sides of the cap so I have to keep pumping a lot to get the product out. The packaging is plastic, it seems quite flimsy and could do with some upgrading, especially the pump. Lucky the formula is out of this world amazing, all they need to fix is the packaging. 

— Read my full disclaimer